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SOYO BARSTAURANT – First Bites

Tired of the same old, same old Korean food? Bored with bibimbap? Jaundiced about jjigae? Had it with haejangguk? Then consider Soyo Barstaurant for some good ole fried chicken, Korean-style.

The version here is flame red, thickly-coated-but-not-heavy, and scrumptious in a way you haven’t tasted before. Sticky sweet, but savory, hot (as in spicy) and moist beyond belief, it is a phenomenon of fowl cookery. Our staff was all set to order the whole bird, but then our helpful waitron said: “Would you like the wings? They come coated in the sauce.” We said yes, and what showed up were about six king-sized wings that could’ve fed four. Does the whole chicken come with the sauce on the side? That’s our guess, but regardless, can’t wait to tear into another order of those wings sometime soon.

As for the rest of our meal, the ban chan (side dishes) were standard issue, as was something called fish eggs fried rice — basically a bowl of steamed rice with roe scattered atop it — but the thick, gooey potato pancakes are full of potato-ness, and taste like they were made seconds before they hit your table.

To drink? The place is full of good suds and sake, but for our won we suggest the mak gu li (also spelled makeolli) — a farmer’s rice wine of spritzy/sweet goodness and relatively low alcohol that’s remarkably easy to chug, and goes better with this food than any soju or sake we’ve ever had. Maybe it’s the slight spritz or the grainy goodness, but we can’t imagine drinking anything else with Korean food from now on.

A note on atmosphere: The owners have done a great job imbuing this small space with groovy, retro cool. Six bench tables sit next to a wall of small booths — all done in a spare, monochromatic style — from which many a non-Asian eatery could/should take a few cues. It has been an immediate hit with the hipster-Asian crowds (and the gaijin who love them), but that means a certain monster rears its repetitive head every night. And by that we mean: music. Disco music to be precise. The kind of music ELV loathed the first 1,000 times he heard it…and has reviled for decades…but which WON’T…F*CKING…DIE!

ELV’s personal theory, nurtured over thirty years of misery, is that there is a vast conspiracy of teenage girls and certain flamboyant men who have kept disco alive long after it deserved a slow, painful death. And every time that death seems certain, some new group comes along to re-popularize the dumbest excuse for music in the history of the world — in this case: Asian lads and lasses who apparently don’t have any talented musicians in their homelands so they adopt Lady Gaga and various disco/techno/dance tunes to assault your eardrums incessantly after dark in their interesting eateries, leaving anyone with any musical taste eager to flee, even while they’re enjoying their bulgogi.

Please…someone…STOP THE MADNESS~~~

And bring us more of that fried chicken.

Our meal for two came to $60 ($50+$10 tip).

SOYO BARSTAURANT

7775 South Rainbow Blvd. Suite 105

Las Vegas, NV 89139

702.897.7696

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One Response to SOYO BARSTAURANT – First Bites

  • Will have to try the fried chicken next time. The kimchi fried rice topped with egg is also outstanding as is the seafood pancake and Korean bbq short ribs.

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